Over here in the States, it’s Thanksgiving time which is all about good food in excessive quantities shared with friends and family. Since you’ve already gotten everyone together, that also means it’s a great opportunity to break out some games. As luck would have it, some very creative designers have been cooking up some great food-themed games, and the best part is, they won’t fill you up!
Cake of Doom – Kickstarter (Spring 2023)
Aliens covet the Earth and have done their homework. After years of observation, data collection, and number crunching, they have determined that the most effective means of achieving world domination is…CAKE!
At least, that’s the premise of this new rules-light party game for 3 – 6 players from debut designers Pearl Ho and Amar Chandarana. The player count and quick gameplay mean even your most game-averse relatives can jump in easily, making it perfect for family gatherings.
Each player is randomly assigned an alien card depicting your cute alien invader and their special ability, along with a handful of Cake and Mischief cards. Region cards depicting various Earth locales are then placed in the center to form a grid of targets for your alien.
Players will then take turns bidding Cake cards on the Earth regions in order to take control of them. Each Region has a minimum amount cake required if you want it to sell out and join your alien agenda, but of course you can bid more than that. In fact, it’s a good idea for several reasons. For starters, other players will almost certainly try to reduce your bid using Mischief cards. Secondly, just because you won a region doesn’t mean it’s safe. Other players can steal if from you later in the game if they offer more cake than you did for that same region, so the more pastry bribes you can stack up, the better.
Once you’re done bribing, you can draw cards from both the Cake or Mischief decks, forcing you to decide which of the 2 you need more. If you manage to successfully capture 2 regions and the “Democratic Order of Mankind” (DOOM), you win! Also, for you bakers out there, Cake of Doom features actual cakes from around the world you can add to your “To Cook” lists. Fun, easy, and educational? I’m in.
Mycelium: A Mushling Game – Kickstarter (Live until Dec. 20)
I feel like I shouldn’t have to say this, but for any adventurous eaters that might be reading, do not eat little mushroom people you find in the woods. One, they might be poisonous, and two, they’re adorable so it would make you a monster.
Mycelium, from first-time designer/publisher Eric Yadvish, is a game of deduction and area control. 2 – 4 players will send out tiny fungal workers, known as Mushlings, to gather Nutrients for their colony. But like real fungi, your Gatherers can only travel along your colony’s network of mycelium. This makes the game a race to see who can expand their mycelium most effectively and gather 10 Nutrients before their opponents.
It essentially takes everyone’s favorite part of Settlers of Catan, building roads, and improves upon it. Players will compete for Nutrients by building mycelial networks, or Paths, to various Nutrient-spawning locations on the board. Each turn, a Nutrient card will determine which of the locations will spawn Nutrients and Spores. Players with Mushlings and fully connected Paths at a location may harvest game-winning Nutrients and the game’s resources, Spores. Another player built a Path in your way? Rather than signaling the end of the line for your plans, this is where the game gets really interesting.
That’s because if your path collides with another player’s, you can choose to attack it. The attacker and defender may each play one of their Mushling cards in a simple high-card-wins combat. However, any time a Mushling card is played, it gets discarded, and each Mushling also comes with a special ability that can often be used during a player’s turn outside of combat. On top of this, Mushlings can be played for Spores when they’re otherwise scarce. Considering you only draw 1 new Mushling a turn, you”ll have to think carefully about how and when to play these little guys.
Silverplate: A Tasty Campaign Setting for 5E – Kickstarter (Soon)
While the last 2 games are a safe bet for just about anyone at your Thanksgiving get together, this next one requires a bit of pre-knowledge and is probably just for that group of cousins you really like and your cool aunt Janine. That’s because Silverplate is a 5E RPG setting set in an entirely food-centric campaign world from frequent 5E publishers Dream Realm Publishers (Bloodpunk).
Energize and revive your teammates as a coffee cleric, roll over enemies as a donut barbarian, or use the sharp ears of the corn ranger to navigate through the wilderness.
Of course, it’s not just PCs that are getting a gastronomical makeover. Check out some of these fun monsters! For starters, there’s the “Chocolate Fountain”. It’s essentially a CR6 golem that sprays boiling hot chocolate and punches pretty dang hard. But the best part is that characters with a sweet tooth can actually drain hit points from the “Fountain” by drinking its chocolate, gaining temporary HP in exchange. This means theoretically you could eat the “Chocolate Fountain” to death, though I imagine a save against diabetes would be in order.
There is also a fire-breathing stove that wants to eat you, and I don’t know what this vampiric hot dog is, but I’m dying to find out.
I feel like this is what happens to gas station hot dogs.
Trademarks and visuals belong to their rightful owners.
So far there’s no official launch date, you can bet this DM is following that Kickstarter launch page.
by Zane Messina